There are five principal reasons why so many financial advisors are currently updating their websites:
- The Internet makes it easy for investors to find local advisors
- The Internet makes it easy to research advisors
- Investors are anonymous until they want to be contacted
- Advisor websites have to be competitive with other sites
- Websites have a one-time opportunity to convert visitors into leads
Websites are critical. Either they convert visitors into qualified leads, or they don’t.
If websites fail to convert, there are no leads.
A lead is the first step in most advisors’ sales processes.
#1. Blog Site
Financial advisors blog sites serve three critical purposes. First and foremost, blog content should be designed to create Internet visibility. As intuitive as it may seem, investors have to be able to find financial advisor content in order to read it.
Depending on the keywords that define the title and content of blog articles, there is massive amounts of information for just about any topic that has meaningful traffic.
The second function is equally important. Investors have to visit financial advisor blog sites that appear on advisor websites in order to view the content. This step is the critical one that creates a marketing opportunity for financial advisor websites.
There is a third important function. Visitors have to open the articles and read them if the content is going to have any SEO value. Google no longer gives SEO value to content that is not read by its users.
This part of the digital marketing process is frequently called content marketing. It is used to generate traffic for financial advisor websites.
#2. First Impression
Most investors, who visit advisor websites, want to be impressed by what they see when they visit the sites.
Step one in being impressed is the appearance of the home page, above the fold, and the messaging. For example, it is imperative that visitors know what services are provided by financial advisor firms. For example, if they are seeking planning and investment services, they should know a financial advisor provides those services in a few seconds or less.
Step two is intuitive navigation. Surveys show visitors will not search for information on financial advisor websites. They expect to mouse-over the navigation and find the information they are seeking.
#3. Delivery of Information
Financial advisors have a one-time opportunity to deliver the information that visitors are seeking on their websites. On average, their websites have approximately 2.5 minutes to deliver this information.
The most important categories of information include:
- “About Us” with an emphasis on firm backgrounds
- “Our Team” with bios for key professionals
- “What We Do” lists the services that are provided by firms
- “Who We Serve” describes ideal types of clients
Any information that differentiates firms should also be published on their websites.
This is also an opportunity for firms to practice transparency. More knowledgeable visitors will know if information is being withheld from them. In particular, if other sites they visit provide the information.
#4. Free Offers
Some visitors on financial advisor websites are going to be seeking firms they can interview because they are actively seeking financial advisors. There is no question, these are the ideal types of leads that are produced by websites.
If the visitors came in through a financial advisor’s blog site, there is much higher probability the visitors are seeking information. This makes sense because they came to financial advisors’ blog and website seeking the information they found on Google.
In a small number of cases, the information could be about the firm. Much larger numbers will be seeking financial information on a wide array of topics. For example, how to move money from a 401k to an IRA.
This creates a valuable marketing opportunity for financial advisor websites. They can build relationships by providing the information that is being sought by visitors.
Unfortunately, websites do not have records of visitors who read blog articles and exit the site. There is a major marketing opportunity to show visitors additional information in the form of eBooks that have registration requirements. These users end-up in the advisors’ CRM systems.
#5. Conversion Rates
At the end of the day, the real value of digital marketing and financial advisor websites is their ability to convert visitors into qualified leads.
This means the websites have to provide compelling reasons why visitors, reading blog articles or learning more about firms, should give-up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
We know most visitors are reluctant to provide contact information because they are concerned financial advisors will:
- Start telemarketing them
- Start sending spam emails
- Sell their data to third parties